Astros catcher Max Stassi out two months after wrist surgery

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Max Stassi was slated to take over as the Astros’ backup catcher following the offseason trade of Hank Conger, but the 25-year-old prospect is now out for at least six weeks after surgery to repair a fractured hamate bone in his left wrist.

Stassi has had brief stints with the Astros in each of the past three seasons, spending most of that time at Double-A and Triple-A putting up underwhelming numbers offensively. However, he’s shown 15-homer power and Houston still likes his long-term potential to develop further at the plate.

Jason Castro is entrenched as the Astros’ primary catcher, so without Stassi they figure to turn to Alfredo Gonzalez, Roberto Pena, or Tyler Heineman as the temporary understudy.

Report: MLB owners want a 48-game season

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We’ve heard the back and forth between players and owners on money, on safety, on the size and the shape of the season. But not until now have we heard just how little baseball Major League Baseball and its owners actually want: 48 games.

That’s all they want, at least if they have to, as agreed, pay players their prorated salaries on a per-game basis. That’s the report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who writes this morning on the state of the current negotiations.

Passan’s article has a lot more than that. It contains a number of financial calculations about how much teams say they stand to lose per game played under any given scenario. That said, given the near total opacity when it comes to owner finances, we have no real way to evaluate the claims. The players have a bit more access to league financials, but even they are reported to be unsatisfied with what the owners have shared in that regard. So, while interesting, nothing Passan presents there is really convincing. It stakes out the positions of the parties but doesn’t really tell us much about the merits.

Which is to say that a 48-game schedule sounds like either (a) a bluff aimed at getting the players to offer financial concessions; or (b) a declaration from the owners that they’d prefer almost no baseball if it means that they have to lose any money. The whole “we’ll happily take the benefits of a good market but won’t bother if there’s a chance we might lose money” approach I’ve lambasted in this space before.

We’ll see soon which it is.